The Spiral Path

Several years ago I was talking with the manager of a bookstore in upstate New York. She told me that she was interested in carrying crystals in her shop and asked us if they were still popular.

I told her that from my perspective they were. Were I to be asked that question my answer would be even more affirmative. Beyond the Rainbow receives orders for crystals from all over the world, and the subscription figures for this newsletter steadily increase.

Her question, though, raised a larger one in my mind, one about the nature of the shift in consciousness of which we are all a part, and the role crystals continue to play in this shift. It is a question which I continue to contemplate.

A Brief History

When Joyce and I opened our realtime store in 1987 interest in crystals was on the rise. The media described this phenomenon in such flattering terms as "the crystal craze," and noted the seemingly faddish quality of this interest, treating crystals as if they were the metaphysical equivalent of pet rocks.

Those who had been interested in crystals for years sometimes became annoyed when they found themselves sharing our store with people who asked where the magic rocks that brought good luck were. We sometimes echoed this annoyance. We wanted people who really believed, people who were on a PATH, customers with whom we could share discoveries about crystals and our relationships with them, not the ones who wanted to know if these things were real, or asked if we sold Kryptonite.

We thought that there was only one train to enlightenment, only one timetable, and that anyone who missed it was forever condemned to accommodations on the slow boat to spiritual oblivion. Time, and some humility, has taught us differently.

We realize that whatever the nature of the "New Age" may be, it's not proceeding with chronological exactness. Some people were New Agers hundreds of years ago; others may not be for hundreds of years in the future. Within these waves of development are countless ripples. Some people first get their feet wet through massage or bodywork, some through yoga and meditation, some because they wandered into a crystal store and found something they'd been looking for, perhaps without even knowing it.

Because this process is ongoing there are countless people for whom the discovery of crystals is as new and exciting as it was for others years ago. When one of these people enter our lives the importance of crystals comes alive with new clarity for us, and we reexperience the wonder of discovery.

Expanding the World of Delights

Though we are now clear on the diversity of paths which lead to enlightenment (and have traveled many new ones of our own over the years) we continue to believe in and experience the unique opportunities for spiritual expansion offered by the crystal trail.

To discover that stones, commonly considered to be inert, inanimate chunks of matter, radiate energy and light, is to begin to wonder how many other unquestioned assumptions have been limiting our vision of both physical and nonphysical worlds. We begin to look at plants, animals, ourselves differently.

In a related sense, to discover the energy of crystals is to become attuned to other energies, to want to explore them more deeply. For us it felt natural to become interested in the meanings of power animals, to study flower essences and essential oils, to learn and teach Reiki.

Crystals remain at the heart of our explorations. We use them in meditation, in Reiki treatments, and in our consultations we recommend the crystals we feel would be most beneficial to our clients.

Mother Earth, Mother Stone

When we take the long view it seems that crystals will be popular for a very long time because they are so related to the basic fabric of human consciousness. We know that people used crystals well before the development of written language and have continued to do so through recorded history. We humans seem to be deeply and inherently attracted to both the beauty and energy of stones.

This attraction can only be strengthened with the development and expansion of human consciousness. As we learn to consciously and lovingly reconnect to all the elements which make up life: animals, flowers, trees, crystals will play an increasing part in our reunion with the other inhabitants of our earth.

Books for the Crystal Journey

Readers of this newsletter frequently ask me what books on crystals I feel would be most helpful for them. That's a difficult question because there are so many ways to approach the subject of crystals.

Some people want scientific explanations for how and why crystals work. Others want to know how to integrate crystals into their particular spiritual perspectives. Many want practical instructions on working with them. Still others are interested in the history and mythology of crystals or their mineralogical evolution. (And I'm sure there are some approaches which I haven't covered here.)

Therefore, I don't tell anyone what books would be most helpful for them, but instead say what books have been most helpful for me.

This is not a complete list; however, these are the books I most frequently consult.

I have provided for each a URL which will take you directly to the ordering location for each title within BookStacks, the online bookstore with which we are affiliated.

I understand that if you wish to compare prices with other online bookstores, BookStacks is committed to the lowest price.

Katrina Raphaell Crystal Trilogy: Crystal Enlightenment, Crystal Healing,
The Crystalline Transmission

Crystal Enlightenment was one of the first books I read about crystals, and it opened up a new world for me. In many Native American traditions crystals are called the Stone People, and this is how Raphaell writes about them: as members of a kingdom not our own, but with which we are inherently linked. Her books inspired me to deepen that connection. I have also found her way of describing the chakras and their related stones to be far more useful than other systems.

In each you will find general information, detailed descriptions of individual crystals and their spiritual uses, and suggested stone placements and meditations. You will also experience and perhaps begin to share Katrina's abiding passion and love for crystals.

Unlike some books on crystals (which are not recommended here), there is nothing dogmatic in any of these volumes. She says:

"This book in no way claims to be the only way or the final word about crystals. It remains forever open to the revision of higher truth. . . .Open your mind; accept and integrate into your being that which rings true. That which does not, release without being judgmental."

The Trilogy continues to be my most valued crystal reference.

Volume I, Crystal Enlightenment

This book gives an excellent basic background about crystals, including an overview of the New Age and the role crystals play in it. It also covers methods of programming, charging, and cleansing crystals, as well as individual and group meditations. Detailed information is given about different kinds of quartz crystals, amethyst, rose quartz, the tourmalines, and a number of other stones.

Volume II, Crystal Healing

The first section of Volume II, Crystal Healing is specifically about healing with crystals. It provides information about preparing a room for healing, specific techniques such as emotional release, past-future life therapy, releasing negative energy, and lists step-by-step procedures for crystal treatments. There are several color photos of crystal layouts.

The second section goes into descriptions of additional kinds of quartz crystals (with photographs) and a number of additional stones, including garnet, aventurine, tiger's eye, opal, and others.

Volume III The Crystalline Transmission

Although none of Katrina's books could be described as suitable for the strictly scientific-minded, this is particularly true of the conclusion to the Trilogy, which deals in part with crystals as agents of human ascension into becoming light beings.

Selenite, Kyanite, Calcite, and Hematite are described in detail, as are what she calls the Master Crystals (photographs included). She also describes in detail, blue lace agate, lepidolite, moldavite, rhodonite, and other stones.

Go Here for a listing of Katrina Raphaell's books.

The Crystal Handbook, Kevin Sullivan

This is the ideal book to use as a quick reference. It covers a great many stones in one small volume, and has a wealth of crystal lore and mythology.

In addition, it has information on cleansing your crystal getting to know it, meditations, exercises for quick stress relief, and a section called "Spending a Day with your crystal."

Other useful features are the charts on zodiac affinities, mental and emotional influences of crystals, and a helpful glossary.

Go Here for ordering information about the Crystal Handbook.

The Women's Book of Healing, Diane Stein

The first part of this book is about basic healing: auras, the chakras, meditation, visualization, psychic healing, and laying on of hands.

The second section is about healing with crystals and gemstones.

Stein organizes her chapters by chakras, and describes the crystals which relate to each.

One of the most valuable aspects of this book is that she refers frequently to the writings of others about particular stones. Thus, you can get several perspectives on a stone, and decide which definition most appeals to you.

Go Here to order this book.

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